The Colombian conflict is one of the world’s longest-running armed confrontations. For this reason, news in recent months of concrete progress toward ending this conflict between the Colombian government and the FARC Marxist guerrillas through a peace process has been greeted with much anticipation and congratulations from a large part of the international community.
Colombian President Santos’ recent visit to the United States on February 4 highlighted US support for the increasingly likely peace agreement with the FARC, an agreement that could end the longest internal armed conflict of the continent. The EU Parliament has issued a resolution in support of the peace agreement and pointedly noted the legality of the agreement under international law.
In 2011, with the passage of the Victim’s Law (Law 1448 / 2011), whose object is to comprehensively repair the victims of the internal armed conflict in Colombia, measures regarding memory were included, such as the creation of a National Museum of Historical Memory (CNMH), the entity responsible for designing and building this space, has the power to make the Museum a representative space for victims of the conflict, and a reflective space for society.
In recent weeks there have been two interesting development in the movement to demand responsibility from economic actors that support serious human rights violations in contexts of conflict and repression, such as the case of Chiquita Brands’ support to Colombian paramilitaries, or Argentinean companies that financed and supported the military regime.
With the announcement of the creation of a Colombian truth commission, we should face the challenge of thinking about a context where the truth can prevail, but above all, consider it as a window of opportunity to create a transitional justice that lays the foundation for a more vigorous democracy for Colombia’s future.
The U.S. has spent over $9 billion since 1999 on Plan Colombia, initially passed in Congress as a counternarcotics aid initiative. Congress expanded the scope of this aid in 2002 as part of its global counterterrorism efforts, permitting its use to fight groups on the U.S. government’s terrorist list, including left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries.